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Neuroscience Institute

Botulinum Toxin Treatment Center

 
Dr. Jozefczyk treats a patient with Botulinum Toxin for cervical dystonia.

The Botulinum Toxin Treatment Center at Allegheny General Hospital focuses on the management of a wide range of neurological conditions. Directed by Patricia B. Jozefczyk, M.D., the Center provides patients with comprehensive evaluation and management of involuntary movement disorders and spasticity. The treatment of these neurological diseases has been significantly enhanced with the use of the botulinum toxins.

The Center is the largest such facility in the tri-state region, and offers patients diagnosis and management of disorders such as generalized dystonia, focal dystonias such as torticollis and writer’s cramp, blepharospasm, hemifacial spasm, oral and facial dystonia, tics and tremors. The center focuses on treatment with botulinum toxins when other pharmacological treatments are unsuccessful or incomplete.

The Center also offers evaluation and management of excessive or abnormal muscle tone (spasticity) that may occur with a stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury.

The Botulinum Toxin Treatment Center, in conjunction with the Movement Disorders Center, includes neurologists and neurosurgeons fellowship-trained in neurorehabilitation and movement disorders. These specialists can evaluate and manage the full range of involuntary movement problems.

Treatment at the center focuses on the use of both botulinum toxin type A and botulinum toxin type B. Other treatments include stereotactic neurosurgery and deep brain stimulation.

The Center is recognized by and registered with the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation, National Spasmodic Torticollis Association, and the Benign Essential Blepharospasm Research Foundation.

Neurological Conditions Treated

 

Dystonia

Dystonia is an uncontrolled involuntary movement of the muscles. This results in twisting or repetitive movements and may occur in a generalized fashion or in a specific body area.

Cervical dystonia

One of the most common forms of adult focal dystonia, it is also known as spasmodic torticollis or wry-neck. This is an involuntary twisting of the neck in one or more directions.

Limb dystonia

This is a focal dystonia that is often task-induced. It can involve the arm and is commonly called writer’s cramp.

Oromandibular dystonia

These involuntary movements include the jaw, lips and tongue.

Blepharospasm

Involuntary and sometimes forceful eye closure is seen in this condition. It is often severe enough to limit eyesight.

Hemifacial spasm

There is involuntary twitching on one side of the face. It usually begins gradually and may intensify over time.

Secondary dystonia

Some dystonias can occur with other diseases like Parkinson’s and result in abnormal posturing of an arm, leg, or facial muscles.

Essential tremor

Sometimes inherited, this tremor causes the head and hands to shake.

Spasticity

Involuntary stiffness in muscles can occur after a stroke and limit the ability to use a limb or produce abnormal position or pain. Spasticity may also develop with Multiple Sclerosis, trauma to the brain or spinal cord, or with cerebral palsy.

Tics

These are sudden, repetitive, involuntary movements and may occur alone or in Tourette’s syndrome.

Related Links and Patient Education

 

Clinical Research Trials

Dr. Jozefczyk was an investigator in the original nation clinical trials using botulinum toxin for the treatment of post-stroke spasticity. Current clinical trials are also underway, evaluating the use of the toxin in spastic arm after a stroke. Other trials include the use of a new botulinum toxin type A in the treatment of cervical dystonia.

The potential use of the toxins continues to expand, and newer areas of investigation include headaches, back pain, abnormal sweating and hypersalivation.

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